New England Patriots (2-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-1)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 | 4:15 PM ET
Raiders Coverage: Silver and Black Pride
This week, the New England Patriots will travel to Oakland to take on a Raiders team that has a lot of momentum coming off a big victory over the New York Jets. The Patriots, meanwhile, have some serious question marks surrounding their team following a big-time collapse against their divisional foes, the Buffalo Bills.
This year, the Raiders haven't been very good defending the pass. While the only active tight end on the roster, Rob Gronkowski, will get plenty of looks, today's game will be yet another chance for Patriots receivers not named Wes Welker or Deion Branch to actually get involved. In addition, although the Raiders are pretty good at stopping the run, I think the Patriots need to continue to find some way to establish themselves in the running game.
Defensively, the key will be stopping Darren McFadden and getting some pressure on Jason Campbell, who has only been sacked twice this year. To stop McFadden, the Patriots will have to prove strong on the edge, and run a lot of their base defense. In addition, I think we could even see the Patriots switch back to a little more 3-4, especially with Albert Haynesworth out of action for the second straight week.
Today's game should be a good one. For the Patriots, it's a chance to silence the critics who have said they are no longer in the NFL's elite. For the Raiders, much like the Bills, it's another chance to prove that they are a team to be reckoned with.
Greg's Prediction: Patriots 31 Raiders 21